I came across the following task in my book:

They carried/crossed 8,120km in the longest windsurfing journey.

Obviously "crossed" is intended to be the correct choice here, but I have never actually heard the verb used in this way. I'm more used to hearing "..crossed a river..", or "..crossed a road.."

Is it really appropriate to use "crossed" with an exact distance, or would "travelled" or "went" be the correct choice here?

  • Agreed. Crossing kms is not idiomatic. They covered / travelled would be the usual verbs. – Ronald Sole Sep 8 '18 at 13:24

When speaking of surpassing a record or threshold, you can use the verb cross.

Which communications giant was the first to cross one million and five million customer marks in India? [The Ultimate India Quiz Book by Derek O'Brien]

It's possible the author is thinking of the achievement as establishing a record.

But we don't have to resort to conjecture, since we can cross {a distance}.

When a measurement in miles or kilometers is presented as the distance, it is usually, but not always, with another noun in a partitive construction:

... crossed three thousand miles of ocean

.. crossed 200 miles of tundra

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